Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day Book Tag

I know, it's like, two years old, but....

1. Favorite basic romance plot
I like it to be a subplot. I normally don't read books where the main plot is romance.

2. Favorite classic romance
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

3. Favorite feel-good romance
Amber and Pierre from Getting A Life, Even If You're Dead.

4. Favorite sad romance
Tris and Four from Divergent.

5. Favorite genre to add romance to

6. Least favorite romance of all time
Ron and Lavendar from Harry Potter.

7. Favorite literary couple in general
America and Maxon from The Selection.

8. If you could have one literary significant other, who would it be?
Maxon from The Selection.

Not book related

9. Do you have a special someone this Valentines Day?
Yes, I do.

10. Favorite V-Day candy

11. Will you wear white, red, pink or none of those on V-Day?
None. I'm wearing blue and black.

12. Favorite romance movie
The Notebook or P.S. I Love You.

13. Favorite love song- may have up to five
Love Song by Sara Barielles, Diana by One Direction, She Loves You by the Beatles, I Want You Back by the Jackson Five, and Sugar Pie (Honey Bunch) by the Four Tops.

14. Favorite thing about V-Day
Expressing your love!

15. Least favorite thing about V-Day
Nothing, really.

16. What are you doing this V-Day?
Hanging out with my friends, family, and boyfriend.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Special: Top 10 Fictional/Literary Couples

Hey everyone! So, in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day, I am going to be sharing with you my top ten literary couples. These are in no particular order, because I couldn't decide on my favorites out of this list. And, I didn't want to have EVERY couple on this list be super popular, so I did six populars and four that are a little lesser-known. So, without further ado, let's get started:

1. America and Maxon (The Selection)
Despite my negative feelings toward America, I love this couple. They are so real, and they seem like they're in love with each other. I enjoy reading their love story, and they are just so amazing.

2. Tris and Four (Divergent)
Do I really have to explain this? I love Tris and Four. They really belong together, and I see the "real couple" aspect in them that I see in America and Maxon as well. One problem with YA books these days is that it's hard to find romance in books that just doesn't seem fake to me, and they are real.

3. Hazel and Augustus (The Fault In Our Stars)
Once again, I really don't think I need to explain this. Okay? Okay. *Teardrop* They just have their own little infinity. *More teardrops*

4. June and Day (Legend)
The fact that such opposites and enemies, really, could fall in love with each other really tugs at the heartstrings and shows us that the heart wants what the heart wants.

5. Annie and Finnick (The Hunger Games)
Poor Annie and Finnick. I should probably stop talking, because I'll say some spoilers. They're just meant to be. And that's that.

6. Hermione and Ron (Harry Potter)
I mean, come on, guys. Duh!

7. Janie and Benjamin (The Apothecary)
I highly recommend that you pick up this series by Maile Meloy. I absolutely love Janie and Benjamin as a couple. They fit together so well, and nothing can separate them in these two books, and they have faced a lot of challenges and obstacles.

8. Kendra and Loic (Getting a Life, Even if You're Dead)
Oh, the feels. I just- ok, I'm speechless. I was amazed at how much I was obsessed with Kendra and Loic. I cannot wait for the next book in this series to see what happens with them. They are very emotional and just...I love them, ok? I love them.

9. Paige and Ryan (Erased)
Despite my mixed feelings about this book by Margaret Chatwin, I really love this couple and how much they go through, yet they're still together at the end of the book. They are very strong and I think they have so much in common.

10. Cleopatra Selene and Juba (Cleopatra's Moon)
Oh, how I loved this book. It was pretty amazing. And, this relationship actually took place. The two got married, but this book fictionally (or possibly not) filling in the gaps with what we don't know about them. The book isn't just about the romance, but it is a key factor, especially toward the end. And this is my historical ship after reading this book.

And those are my top ten! Thank you so much for reading. It means the world to me! Please follow and comment. It would mean a lot. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If I Were A Book Tag

This tag was created by Jenni Marie.  Here is the original tag:

What would the title of your book be?
I choose It's Kind of a Funny Story. This book was originally written by Ned Vizzini, who recently passed away, but the title really defines my life.  I have an amazing life that's been very sad and stressful, but it's kind of a funny story to tell.

What author would write your story?
Lauren Oliver would write my story, because she is just so talented and she can extraordinarily write any genre or mood.

What book cover would you choose?
I would choose the cover of Scumble by Ingrid Law. Not only is the cover really colorful and creative, it goes really well with the title.

Would your book be a paperback or a hardcover?
It would be a hardcover.

How long would it be?
It would be about 400 pages, because I think that's a really good length so it's not too small so that the story (because it's so complex) can't be told effectively, but it's not so long that it's just stretching the story out dramatically.

What genre would it be and why?
It would be dystopian, because I would want to share the loose ends of my story in a more dramatical and exciting way, and I think placing it in a dystopian world, maybe like the Divergent trilogy, would really make it interesting.

Whose review would you want printed on the back of your book?
I would want John Green's review on the back of my book. I think that would be such a huge honor.

Thanks for reading, and PLEASE do this tag and leave the link in the comments. Bye!

Interview With Author/Illustrator/Youtuber Christine Tyler!

Christine Tyler, also known as C, is leading a pretty exciting life.  She vlogs, is a book tuber, an illustrator, a writer, a mom, and a wife!  Read on to discover more about her works and her life.

So, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Christine Tyler. I'm 27 years old. I was born in and raised in Washington State. I met my husband as a pen pal. My sister set us up and we wrote each other (snail mail) for a year and a half before meeting. We now live in Yokosuka, Japan, with our 2-year-old son and a bun in the oven.

How long have you known that you wanted to be a writer and an illustrator?
I have always loved to write, and I have always loved to draw. People can identify me as a writer or illustrator as they will. I'm not published in either of those mediums. 

Which writers inspire you?
Off the top of my head, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, JRR Tolkien, Brian Jaques and Bruce Coville. They're all very different, but they've played important roles at different points in my life.

What are you currently working on?
An adult fantasy novel. It's about a harem wife who joins an underground society bent on overthrowing her husband, only to find they're planning to sacrifice her in order to do it. There are a number of cultural influences, including: Mongolian, French, Islamic Spain, Brazilian and African. 

What genre(s) do you normally write in?

Tell us a little bit about your family and why you chose to live in Japan.
My husband is an engineer and works for the Navy. My son really digs trains and birds right now. I made friends with a Japanese foreign exchange student when I was in high school, and she actually ended up moving in for a while with my family. When she went back home I came to Japan to visit her. I also studied Japanese for about three years. My husband and I really wanted to take advantage of being stationed overseas, so when we were given the option of living/working in Japan, we snatched it up. We'll be here until late 2015. Then, who knows?

Are you planning on publishing?
Yes, I plan on pursuing traditional publishing. I'll start querying agents later this year. 

You have two YouTube channels.
Yup. I found that people would unfollow me when I jumped back and forth from bookish things to travel/family things, so I split the channels so people could just follow what they wanted. 

How can readers discover more about you and your works?
I recently wrote a short story for a project hosted by Gina Denny: Other than that, I keep most of my writing under wraps. I don't have any of my art currently online, but I have plans to organize my website later this year and put some up. As far as my book goes, curious readers will just have to wait, or watch for some treats on my book channel ;)

Where do you get ideas?
I pursue and retain a lot of interesting information. My husband is amazed by how many totally random facts I have stored in my head. I am an intense analytic when it comes to emotional experiences. I like to understand things. All of this comes out naturally as I write and reach for ideas. 

You've said that you love to read nonfiction.  Why do you love it and why is it essential to being a writer?
Non-fiction is so broad. It's like saying you like Fiction. I mostly enjoy learning about other cultures, particularly Mongolia and Arabia. I like astrology and folktales from other countries. I'm very interested in geology and biology, so I have some quality reference books in the physical sciences. I love it because I love making myself smarter. I like understanding things. For writers, I think the greatest benefit of researching other cultures is learning to think outside their own social norms and assumptive views. Researching technical details helps give your imaginary world credibility. 

How do you balance writing, illustrating, family, and YouTube?
While I'm not published, I still treat writing as a career. I write every weekday. I write when I don't want to. I do it because if I want it to be my job, I have to treat it like it is my job. Illustration is a hobby. I only do it for fun. I only do it when I feel like it, and I only draw what I feel like drawing, so it's always a joy. YouTube is a form of journaling for me. It's social, because I make friends with it, but my extended family in the US really values it because it gives them a peek into my life. It's also a bit of a study in online platform. It's a pet project, and while I'm excited about what I'll learn from it, I don't worry about it. Differentiating between my career, hobbies, and exploratory projects keeps them in perspective. Family is ever-present and, simply put, the most important thing in my life. I constantly adjust my approach to satisfy my family's needs while addressing my own. I see that readjustment as success in itself. 

Do you write whenever you can or set a strict schedule for yourself?
I set weekly goals for myself, and then each day I look at my goals and decide what I'm going to work on. I get bored with daily schedules very quickly, but I am ridiculously goal-oriented, so the flexibility within a plan works very well for me. 

Do you like writing short stories, novellas, and snippets or full books?
I've written the occasional short story, especially for classes (I'm currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Creative Writing), but I prefer long-narrative. 

Name some stuff you've illustrated.
I've only done personal projects, and I usually draw my own characters from my own story. 

Why did you decide to be an illustrator?
The illustrations for Beth Revis are my first commission, and they won't be released for another year or so. I follow her on Twitter and she asked if anyone knew an artist who could do character illustrations in an Alphonse Mucha style. I knew I could do that. Because I didn't have any of my art online, or anything in that style, I immediately set to work creating a sample for her. I sent it to her and it was exactly what she wanted, so she hired me. Art is simply a passion of mine, and sometimes preparation meets opportunity. 

What are your plans for the future?
I'm in the final revision stages of my novel, so I'll query that soon. Whether it gets published or not, I have three more books planned. They take place in the same world but have different protagonists, so I will write and query each of them. If I haven't acquired an agent at that point, then I will reassess my goals. I want to get my website together and share more of my art, maybe open myself to commissions, but it will still take the backseat to writing. I'm traveling to New Zealand in March, and have a baby due in September. My husband and I can't decide between living overseas or moving back to the states when our shore duty is up, so I have no idea where I'll be in 2016. I do know I'll still be hot on the trail of my goals, and enjoying every minute of it. Especially the challenging minutes, because those are the ones that make it fun. 

For more on Christine:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

I got this book a few years ago from a friend who gave it to me and told me to tell her if I liked it.  Unfortunately, the book was lost on my bookshelf and my friend moved away, so I didn't read it, until I saw it on my bookshelf and decided to pick it up.  I mean, can we drool over this cover?

Alex and Aaron Stowe are twins living in Quill, a land where creativity is banished.  At 13 years old, the kids are sorted into three categories: the Wanteds, the Necessaries, and the Unwanteds, who are killed.  But a wizard by the name of Mr. Today has been saving them and has created a world where they live called Artime, and creativity is encouraged and used.  But what will happen when there is a risk of the High Priest Justine discovering this magical land?

When I first started to read this book, I actually sat it down and read another book.  It was just so hard to get into!  The first 70 pages, I was bored and confused.  I first became actually interested well into the book.  When it did get interesting, I enjoyed it very much.  I didn't like the third person omniscient, because it felt like at random moments it was bringing in a random character's opinion.

I don't believe that the character development was very good in this book.  Alex was a very developed character, but not many others were.  I felt like too many characters were introduced, and I would be fine with the number of characters if they were more developed.

This book, after the first 70 pages, had me on the edge of my seat most of the time.  I was intrigued by the plot.  I really liked Alex as a character.  He was flawed, as any human is, but the connection with Aaron, and how funny yet sweet he is- he is a really good main character.  I didn't like Aaron, and I feel that everyone didn't like him, but he just really got on my nerves, even though he wasn't in half of the book.

Parts of the book were vary vague, and I felt they shouldn't have been.  Some parts shouldn't have been elaborated on, and McMann didn't, but I wanted more details throughout the book, especially on Artime and Quill.

I don't like Lani.  Lani and Alex didn't appeal to me at all.  I like Alex and Meghan, but I didn't see a big need for romance in such an already complex and twisted plot.

I don't really see a purpose for the second book.  Everything has gone well in the first book, in the end, except for Alex.  this is a no spoiler review, so I'll just say that the only thing I'm curious about is Alex. There is a second book, and I don't know if I'm going to read it or not.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hello friends!  I just went to a local bookstore where a sale was taking place and I got three books!  Please tell me what you think of these books below and give me some book recommendations!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Champion by Marie Lu (Signed Copy!)

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

February TBR/Apology

I am SO, SO sorry for my lack of posting!  It's been a cluster this time of year and I've had some family issues, but I'm here and ready to blog!  Today, I'll be posting my February TBR.

I have currently read two books from my TBR, so they are off the list!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Finished) REVIEW SOON

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Oh. My. Gods. by Terra Lynn Childs

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (In Progress)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Lauren Stohls

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (Finished) REVIEW SOON

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Cinder by Marissa Meyer